an English translation of the novel

Page 54-56

The exorcist is generally accepted to have the most powerful cantus of us all. And as far as I know, Shisei Kaburagi has never once let anyone else take that claim from him.

Shisei Kaburagi felt us staring at him and smiled slightly. What was strange was that even after taking off the exorcist’s mask, he was still wearing another one on the top half of his face. It’s rumored that no one has ever seen his true face. His nose and mouth looked plain, but the dark glasses hiding his eyes gave him an ominous, intimidating air.

“Was it scary?” he asked in a low, resonant voice. Satoru nodded with an awestruck look on his face. Shisei Kaburagi’s gaze lingered on me for what felt like an abnormally long time.

“You’re interested in a lot of things, aren’t you?”

I stiffened, unsure of how to respond.

“Will you have good luck, or bad luck?” Shisei Kaburagi left with the shadow of a smile on his face.

For a while we stood there as if entranced. Then Satoru sighed and murmured, “That guy probably has the power to split the earth in half if he really concentrated…”

Although I didn’t believe in Satoru’s nonsense, what he said remained in my mind for a long time.

 

Happy times never stay that way for long.

My childhood was no exception, but the ironic thing is that back then I worried that those happy times were too long.

Like I said before, everyone graduates from Harmony School at a different time. The first to graduate from our class was Shun. A boy with better grades than anyone else, and with an adult’s wisdom and maturity, he suddenly disappeared from our class one day. Our homeroom teacher, Sanada, proudly announced his graduation to the rest of the class.

After that, my one wish was to hurry up and graduate so I could be in the same school as Shun. However, even though my schoolmates began leaving one by one, it was never my turn. When Maria graduated, I was left behind again. No matter how much I tried to explain, other people couldn’t understand how I felt then.

When the cherry blossoms started wilting, there were only five out of the original twenty-five students left in the class. Satoru and I were among them. Even the usually boisterous Satoru looked depressed. Every morning, after we made sure that no one else had graduated, we would sigh with relief and continue with our day. If possible, we wanted to graduate at the same time, but if not, we each secretly wished to be the first.

But my meager wish was completely destroyed. As we entered May, Satoru, who was my last hope, finally graduated. Two others followed almost immediately, leaving only two of us. Though it may seem weird, I can’t remember that other person’s name no matter how I try. Although he may have been the slowest in the class and a completely unremarkable student, I don’t think that’s why I can’t remember. I think I may have unconsciously repressed my memories of him.

During that time, I holed myself up in my room every day after school and didn’t talk to anyone. Even my parents became worried about my behavior.


 
     

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